Community Engagement

Community engagement is an important part of STILL’s identity as a business. As a global company, STILL strives to be a good neighbor to the local communities at its sites around the world, by lending its support to social and humanitarian projects. STILL’s headquarters in Hamburg, for instance, have a long history of supporting community organizations in the city where the company was first founded and where, decades later, it maintains a strong sense of affinity.

To ensure all actions by the company and its staff are transparent and within the law, STILL follows the KION Group policy on donations and sponsorship, which governs all aspects of the Group’s community engagement activities, including areas of responsibility and decision-making processes. In 2020, this policy was revised and improved across the Group. It covers both financial donations and volunteer work, and is designed to facilitate fast and pragmatic decision-making at local level and enable a rapid response in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters.

The KION Group Code of Compliance also contains relevant information on community engagement and gives confidence to managers on the ground that they are acting in line with the law. All donations and sponsorship arrangements must be verified and approved in advance by the compliance department. Donations must always be transparent, follow a strict set of standards, uphold the values and policies of the KION Group, and conform with any applicable legislation.

In all its community engagement activities, STILL makes a clear distinction between donations and sponsorship. Donations are voluntary gifts of money or items that are given to charities without any expectation that this action will be reciprocated. In contrast, sponsorship is awarded in return for a service such as advertising or marketing. It is also important to ensure that recipients’ intentions in accepting donations or sponsorship are compatible with the values and principles upheld by the KION Group.

Taking Responsibility—Creating Equal Opportunities—Shaping the Future

These are the three pillars that underpin STILL’s corporate values and in each case the company takes its responsibilities very seriously. Since 2010, STILL has been supporting three local projects in Hamburg that promote equal access to education, culture, and community for children and young people across the city. In 2022, STILL donated 5000 euros each to the Mittagskinder foundation, Kultur Palast Hamburg foundation, and Produktionsschule Wilhelmsburg school. The Mittagskinder foundation provides a regular healthy lunch for around 200 children in Hamburg. The foundation’s team also spend time with the children, giving them attention, a sense of community, and specialist support with their homework. The Kultur Palast Hamburg foundation, meanwhile, has been promoting cultural understanding through interactive music and dance projects for more than 40 years, and the Produktionsschule Wilhelmsburg is committed to ensuring equal access to education for all. The school helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the jobs market by providing relevant training, particularly in technical professions, carpentry, catering, retail, and hairdressing In addition to providing financial support, STILL also works together with the school to offer work placements, factory tours, and even apprenticeships.

STILL also supports the work of Hamburg-based aid organization Hanseatic Help e.V. and has provided the organization with an EXV high-lift truck to support its operations at its warehouse in Hamburg Stellingen. Hanseatic Help has been supporting people in need since 2015 and its dedicated team of volunteers face an enormous challenge in storing, organizing, and dispatching the large volumes of donations that the charity receives. Every week, Hanseatic Help distributes around 30,000 items—mainly clothing and hygiene products—to those who need them most.

Supporting Families in Need in Spain

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people found themselves in desperate need of help, but it was only thanks to support from businesses that the volunteers at the Banco de Alimentos de Madrid (Madrid food bank, BAM) were able to continue their vital work. BAM was one of the first organizations to respond to the hundreds of families in Spain that found themselves in need. Faced with food shortages, the organization launched a campaign called ‘Kilo COVID-19’, which raised 1300 metric tons of donations of basic foodstuffs. STILL, in turn, donated several of its electric pallet trucks and forklift trucks to help BAM’s volunteers distribute these donations efficiently and safely – and enable the organization to continue its essential work supporting some of the most vulnerable members of society during a very challenging time.

On October 27, 2022, STILL received an award from the Fundación Banco de Alimentos de Madrid (the foundation for the Madrid food bank, FBAM) in recognition of its support during 2020. The team at STILL is grateful to have been recognized in this way and has nothing but respect for all the organizations celebrated that day. These partnerships are vital for building a better society founded on a shared sense of community, which is why STILL is committed to lending its support where it can.

Emergency Aid

On February 6, 2023, millions of people were caught up in a once-in-a-century natural disaster when a devastating earthquake struck on the Turkey-Syria border. Thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands were left homeless, their homes destroyed or left too unsafe for them to return. Employees wanting to show their support for the victims were invited to take part in the KION earthquake relief appeal and donate as many hours’ pay as they wished (via the HR department) to the German Red Cross (DRK), which was active on the ground helping to rescue people trapped in the rubble and also supplying food and accommodation. In total, the appeal raised just under a quarter of a million euros—an impressive figure that is testament to the solidarity shown by employees around the world.

Ukraine War

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent suffering of the Ukrainian people have had a profound impact on employees at STILL Poland. Ukraine lies just over the border from Poland and the language and history of the two counties are closely related. Consequently, Poland became the main destination for the over four million refugees that fled over the border from Ukraine. The STILL team knew instinctively that they had to help their neighbors in these challenging times. The immediate priority was to find housing for the refugees because no-one wants to live in emergency accommodation on a permanent basis. STILL Poland therefore teamed up with the Lena-Grochowska foundation, which specializes in organizing accommodation for people in need. Over a six-month period, the company donated 50,000 złoty (around 10,500 euros) to the foundation every month. In addition to financial donations, many employees also opened up their homes to the refugees and some continue to have refugees living with them to this day.